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Four die after drinking spiked liquor, two others turn blind



Four people died and two others lost their eyesight after consuming alcohol suspected to have been spiked with a poisonous substance in Umoja estate.

According to police at Buru Buru station and Embakasi West MP George Theuri, the four died on Wednesday and Thursday after consuming illegal liquor in Mutindwa area in the estate.

One person only identified as Choppa, a matatu tout at Mutindwa, died on Wednesday evening. He collapsed and died on Sonko Road in Mutindwa.

Douglas Mwangi died on Thursday afternoon at Umoja dispensary where he had been rushed for treatment. The other died at Kenyatta National Hospital where he was rushed from Mama Lucy Hospital.

He was vomiting and had severe stomachache, police said.

Two others are still recuperating in hospitals – one at Mama Lucy and the other at KNH. They have both lost their sight.

Embakasi West liquor committee chairman Charles Ayiro said they arrested seven people in several liquor outlets in Mutindwa on Thursday night after receiving reports that some people had perished after drinking the illegal alcohol.

Ayiro together with Umoja 1 MCA Mark Mugambi, Umoja One chief Madam Chumo and Umoja ward AP commandant Inspector Terry Akinyi raided several wines and spirits outlets suspected to be vending harmful liquor in Mutindwa.

They arrested owners of two outlets, a manufacturer of illegal liquor and four customers. They are being held at Buru Buru police station.

Yesterday, county commissioner Kang’ethe Thuku convened an emergency meeting with various stakeholders including Kebs, KRA, Anti-counterfeit agency, Liquior Board and Nacada to address the issue. 

“We have agreed to conduct an operation in Umoja and surrounding areas to ascertain the brands these people sell,” Thuku said.

“We got a tip off from the residents and we have managed to arrest some suspects but we are still tracking down the main supplier so that we can bring this to an end,”said Ayiro.

Ayiro said the outlets are operating illegally as they are not licensed by the County Liquor Licensing Board.

During the raid, they confiscated syringes, alcohol pads and anesthetic from an outlet that some of the victims are believed to have visited on Wednesday night.

“We believe the victims visited different outlets in Mutindwa but there are those notorious ones. Actually we are told that three of those who died drunk from one place,” Theuri told the Star.

According to resident, there are more than 700 liquor outlets in Mutindwa alone.

“Youths in this areas have been rendered useless because of cheap, illegal liquour here. A sachet goes for only Sh10 but it has serious effects on them,” resident Cleophas Mwongo said.

The board has been raiding bars and wines and spirits shops across the county in a bid to get rid of the illegal alcohol. In June, it raided illegal distilleries and impounded liquor in Mowlem and Eastleigh.

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